After eleven years of being together, a Navy officer and his partner were finally able to make their relationship official, by getting married as soon as the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prevented gays from serving openly in the military was lifted.
Lt. Gary Ross, 33, married Dan Swezy, a 49-year-old civilian, at Duxbury’s Moose Meadow Lodge in Vermont. The choice of Vermont as the site of their wedding was not without its reasons; it was the first state to allow gays to civilly marry, and it was located in the Eastern time zone – which meant that they would be able to formalize their union before friends and family the moment DADT was repealed at midnight Tuesday.
Before the repeal of DADT, Ross shared that he needed to “lie several times a day.” He shared further: “Being in the military is extremely invasive. It becomes a web of excuses you make when you try to be as honest as possible but you can’t be honest.”
At 11:45 p.m. Monday, Ross donned his dress uniform for the ceremony. Ross and Swezy’s marriage was officially proclaimed by Justice of the Peace Greg Trulson at exactly midnight.
Ross graduated from the Naval Academy in 2002, and is currently a surface warfare officer at Fort Huachuca, a 2-hour commute from the home he shared with Swezy in Tucson, Arizona. He met Swezy when he was still a student at the Academy.
Ross does not expect congratulatory remarks at work after the wedding, as he does not intend to announce that he just got married to someone of the same gender. Ross shared: “Even though the law goes away, it will still be the white elephant in the room until everyone comes to terms with it.”